**Originally Listed At $500**
Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Sumatra, Batak people, ca. early 20th century CE. A striking, elegant wooden plucked lute, known as a hasapi or kachapi, with two strings and no frets. At its top, above two tuning keys, is a carved figure, perhaps meant to represent an ancestor. The figure is carved seated on a grand throne and wears a distinctive asymmetrical headdress. Small areas of carved bands decorate the top, center, and lower part of the body of the instrument. A thin metal chain hangs from the figure's neck to the base of the instrument, which rises like the prow of a ship. This instrument was made to be played as part of an intimate ensemble, rather than in front of a large crowd; for example, prior to the spread of Christianity among the Batak, it was played as part of a love magic ritual to woo a woman. Size: 3.15" W x 27" H (8 cm x 68.6 cm); 30.25" H (76.8 cm) on included custom stand.
See a similar example at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/317978
Provenance: private Johnson collection, Los Angeles, California, USA
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Beautiful condition with a rich patina on the surface. A few tiny scratches on surface commensurate with age, with a single small chip from one side.